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COVID-19 Response and Updates

Vaccine Incentive Program

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to show that Cougars Care. To encourage more Columbus State Cougars to get vaccinated - and to thank those who have already gotten vaccinated - Columbus State University is launching the COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Plan. Between Sept. 29 and Nov. 18, students and employees can qualify for incentives for doing their part to keep themselves, their classmates, their coworkers and the community healthy.

Opt-In and You're In (PDF)

The COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Program (VIP) is reserved for currently enrolled students (e.g., full-time, part-time and online) and currently employed faculty and staff (e.g., full-time and part-time).

Yet-to-be Vaccinated Individuals

The first 400 students and employees who receive their first vaccination on or after Sept. 29 qualify for the following - provided they show proof of their vaccination along with a completed VIP Opt-in Form (PDF):

Incentive 1: First Vaccination

After their first vaccination, students and employees will receive a $10 voucher that can be used on campus at either Chick-fil-A, Einstein's or Subway, provided by CSU's dining partner, Aramark. No change or refunds will be given for purchases less than $10. Vouchers will be collected by the restaurant staff at the time of use.

Note: Students and employees who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and elect to opt into the Vaccine Incentive Program will automatically receive both the first and second incentive and will be entered in the raffle.

Incentive 2: Second Vaccination

Students and employees receiving their second vaccination on or before Nov. 18 - and presenting proof of vaccination along with a completed VIP Opt-in Form (PDF) - can choose from one of the following:

  • $100 of Cougar Cash on their 909 ID card; or
  • a $100 CSU Bookstore Gift Card; or
  • (students only) $50 Cougar Cash and payment of or credit toward their 2021-22 parking fee; or
  • (employees only) $90 payment of or credit toward their 2021-22 parking fee.

Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Students and employees on their way to being fully vaccinated (regardless of when and where vaccinated) or who are fully vaccinated by Nov. 18 can enter the VIP raffle for the following (with proof of vaccination and a completed VIP Opt-in Form (PDF)):

1st place prizes: 10 winners will have the choice of receiving $500 Cougar Cash or a $500 CSU Bookstore gift card. Students (including currently enrolled faculty and staff) also have the choice of $500 being applied to their Bursar's Office account.

2nd place prizes: 20 winners will have the choice of receiving $250 Cougar Cash or a $250 CSU Bookstore gift card. Students (including currently enrolled faculty and staff) also have the choice of $250 being applied to their Bursar's Office account.

Drawing and Prize Notification: The Office of Enterprise Development will randomly select raffle winners on Nov. 19 from among those who provide proper proof of vaccination along with a completed Opt-in Form by close of business on Nov. 18. Winners will be notified by email. via email. Winners' names shall not be publicized or released.

Terms and Conditions

This program is administered by Columbus State's Office of Enterprise Development and Student Health Center using funds allotted to CSU through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II. HEERF II is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. No incentives are underwritten by State of Georgia funds.

For questions about the program, contact David Mitchell, director of Enterprise Development, at 706-507-8906 or mitchell_david4@columbusstate.edu. When emailing, do not include any medical or other confidential health information.

Qualification Period

Per federal and USG guidelines, only those individuals who receive their first shot on or after the Sept. 29 VIP start date will be eligible to receive VIP incentives. Only vaccines administered between Sept. 29 and the close of business on Nov. 18 qualify students and employees for Incentive 1 and Incentive 2 of the Vaccine Incentive Program. Anyone fully vaccinated by close of business on Nov. 18 qualifies for the VIP raffle. The location where one is vaccinated is not a condition of eligibility.

Students and employees must also submit their VIP Opt-in Form (PDF) and required documentation by the Nov. 18 deadline to qualify. Students studying on-campus must present their vaccination card and VIP Opt-in Form in person; students studying exclusively online should contact David Mitchell at 706-507-8906 or mitchell_david4@columbusstate.edu.

Eligible Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines currently covered by the USDA emergency use authorization - Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson - qualify students and employees for participation in the Vaccine Incentive Program, regardless of vaccination location. To be considered "fully vaccinated" for the purposes of CSU's Vaccine Incentive Program, participants must have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

Voluntary Participation

Participating in the Vaccine Incentive Program, including the raffle, is voluntary for both students and employees and requires completion of the VIP Opt-in Form (PDF). To be eligible for incentives or raffle prizes, participating students and employees must present, along with a fully completed VIP Opt-in Form (PDF), their original COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card in person at either the Office of Enterprise Development (224 Richards Hall) or the Student Health Center on or before Nov. 18.

Confidentiality

VIP Opt-in Forms and information provided through it will be exclusively handled by, disclosed to and stored by authorized school officials. Winners' names shall not be publicized or released.

Employee Conditions and Exclusions

The IRS considers any employee incentive valued at $75 or more to be taxable. Therefore, faculty and staff receiving or winning such prizes will see federal taxes on those items withheld in the following pay period.

Per USG requirements, members of the university's Executive Leadership Team, vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, associate vice presidents, and deans are excluded from participating.

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